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Sandpit

March 15th, 2013

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on.

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  1. Mel
    March 15th, 2013 at 21:53 | #1

    I don’t want to further the derail of PrQ’s Good News thread so I’ll post this comment here.

    Those who make the distinction between “actual communists” and faux communists are engaging in the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    It is simply childish and silly to argue that someone isn’t a real XYZ because someone who is a real XYZ couldn’t possibly be anything other than a saint.

    Those who call themselves communist need to explain why the lived experience of 20th century communism has at best one of oppression, fear and economic stagnation leavened slightly by a measure of equality (post-Stalin USSR, Cuba) and at worst a hell hole of murder and misery (Ceausescu’s Romania, Stalin’s USSR).

    Communists also need to explain why the great bulk of communist organisations, activists and intellectuals in the free world have schmoozed up to the most vile communist regimes. To give a contemporary example, communists must explain why so many of their comrades have behaved like the current and much venerated Greens Senator, Lee Rhiannon, who:

    – was an agent of the Soviet stooge Socialist Party of Australia and its affiliates,
    – denounced the people of Czechoslovakia for the ’68 uprising against communist oppression and praised the brutal Soviet repression of said uprising,
    – took Soviet money and edited a pro-Soviet newspaper that commiserated the fall of the Berlin Wall among other great moments in the advancement of human liberty.

    Until communists own up to their misanthropic legacy and convincingly explain how it could never happen again if communism was again in the ascendancy, I see no reason to regard communists with anything other than disgust and contempt.

    Naturally, as a moderate leftist and social democrat, I also loathe and distrust the more radical ideological camps on the right.

  2. Jordan
    March 15th, 2013 at 22:29 | #2

    As proven by Steve Keen, capitalism’s succes and crises are driven by debt growth, *private* debt growth assisted by public debt growth. GDP=Investment+Consumption+Trade Ballance where Investment= Savins+Debt growth
    As soon as debt growth slows down it causes a recession, whether private or public debt. Money creation through credit creation is an important factor in capital accumulation.
    Therefore, it is the monetary system that defines capitalism vs. socialism, other things are less realtive.

    Transpacific capitalism, excluding China have monetary system where banks can print money trough credit creation while countries only indirectly trough private banks.

    In Euro-Asian ccommunism, that was in the past, with China still in use, states can print money while private banks can only use savings for giving out the credit.

    In European capitalism, they tried to limit money creation by credit through incentivizing housing savings funds which use only savings for credit creation. Adopting more of american way of credit money creation in last few decades while completely constraining eurozone country’s ability to print money. Eurozone is a monetary unity without Central Bank that can print money or issue bonds, like other normal monetary systems of the world. Europe is in transition too.

    Comparing those systems in post WWII period, it shows that communist monetary system was developing faster then capitalist way untill oil price inflation took all by surprise and took communist world into collapse, not being able to handle growing inflation.

    Using Keynesian policy of replacing private debt growth with public debt growth and having central banks with dual asignment of controling inflation and unemployment capitalism survived while communism collapsed helped by capitalist world demanding repayment of communist’s state debt. No country ever reduces its nominal external debt without terrible consequences, except by defaulting on it.

    That was the way cold war ended, victory trough debt manipulation. Was the price of oil in 70′ also manipulated? Given the close friendship of USA presidents and Saudi Royal family everything is possible.

  3. Chris Warren
    March 15th, 2013 at 22:30 | #3

    Mel

    You can stew in your own muck.

    People can raise the same banners over colonial capitalism and over Third World client states of Yankee imperialism. These big capitalists denounced the people of Chile for electing their president against foreign oppression and praised the bloody and brutal Fascist repression of said democracy.

    Maybe you could own up to your misanthropic legacy and convincingly explain how it could never happen again if American empire manages to resurrect itself. Until then;

    You are the “stooge”, you are “disgust”, you are “loathed”.

  4. Jordan
    March 15th, 2013 at 23:03 | #4

    All communist countries came out of communism system with housing free of debt. With corporations providing for babysitting, hot food kitchen, housing credits with low interest, transportation besides regular salaries. Very educated and healthy with bad teeth societies were created by communist systems.

    There was a lot of political repression but very easy economic life. That political repression was the cause of the instability and blocking the further development of a society once the oil price shock shook the system.

    The major cause of the political repression was schizophrenic Stallin. Second communist state attempt was democraticly elected Spanish Republic but destroyed by Franco’s rebellion helped by Stallin’s destruction of Barcelona Commune. Stallin did not want to allow selforganizing cooperatives outside of his authority. Destruction of Barcelona Commune crushed high morale of workers alliance and played a major factor in loosing the war.
    Tito in Yugoslavia organized the system that reflected his experience in Spanish Civil War from Barcelona and came under Stallin’s rage cause of it. In 1948 Stallin put economic embargo on Yugoslavia which lasted until after his death.

    Developement of self organizing worker cooperatives was also associated with political oppression since at the time of Tito-Stallin confrontation many orthodox church belonging Serbs wanted Stallin’s support. They came under political oppression of Tito’s regime, but only for very short time. Fearing Croatian fashistoid inheritance and Serbian-Stallin connections, very mild political oppression continued.

    When oil price shock hit, Yugoslavia was in the middle of the further worker cooperative developement with reforms aimed at giving more power to individual cooperatives within free market with reducing taxation on cooperatives. This reform was a failure. Next decades were marked with workers demanding more equal distribution and control over distribution against buearocratic decision making. The economic stagnation lasted while rulling buearocrats were fighting to preserve their power over distribution.

    Then came foreign creditors demanding repayment of debt incured by importing oil and high technology. Conditioning further crediting on separate republics, IMF and World Bank ensured the war as a solution to the crisis of the most succesful and most democratic communist country as an example to others.

  5. wilful
    March 15th, 2013 at 23:10 | #5

    Mel, it would take about half a minute to edit your screed to insert favourite boogey-man, be it Catholic/Christian, or Colonialist/Capitalist or whatever. It’s not actually logically impossible to state that apart from some half-arsed attempts, communism has never practically gotten off the ground. Same deal with libertarianism if they ever get their s**t together, or anarchism, or any extreme political stance.

  6. March 16th, 2013 at 03:04 | #6

    Of course, it would be unethical, to copy the comments of another person, on another blog, but I can surely copy my own comments, because it is somewhat of an idee fixe of mine. These comments are lost in wake of the fast moving Catallaxy.

    Blogs are public space, are they not, equivalent to the public square? I understand our common failing to associate with people who we imagine are receptive to our thinking. The final comments confirmed my initial judgement as to where “the Frisk Doctrine” was going.

    Firstly:

    Frisky, I was unaware of my entertainment value, as you seem to imply. I am often quite amused at what I see here. [Other dissents and myself were described as “leftist clowns”.]

    Quite seriously, polarized, black and white thinking, is unhealthy both individually and collectively. It is both uncivilized and “uncivilizing”.

    I defend very strongly, the right of “morons”, or any other category of persons, to express themselves. I would hope to have the patience to listen carefully, and so understand what is said.

    Mr Bolt’s newspaper comments seemed to me, from memory, to be fragrant, and intentional. In other words, he could have expressed himself in a way that didn’t cause offense, and in doing so make a stronger case. Why didn’t he try?

    OK, there is a problem about the limits of free speech, and you then have to look at particular cases. Do they represent substantial or important limitations on freedom of expression?

    There are people who are experts in the interpretation of texts of the Bible, the Torah and the Quoran. This is an issue related to respect for freedom of belief.

    A notable aspect of the Quoran is the respect given to other Abrahamic religions. We have to remember the formative influences and context for the development of these religions are very different, although with common threads. Furthermore, as regards interpretation, the text of the Quoran is a particular form of Arabic.

    The intolerance among Muslims matches the historic intolerance among Christians. where did that go?

    And in the context of the rejection of these comments, I have further commented:

    Despite, Sinclair’s censure, not totally unjustified, I am aware of “the Frisk Doctrine”. It concerns me. And you are not alone in adopting similar position. I oppose them all because I think that as citizens it is our responsibility to be democratic in practice.

    As with the Bible, even the Old Testament, and the Torah, the Quoran can be a source of good and evil. It depends on interpretation. Not all Islamic belief is of one kind, either historically or contemporaneously, much like Christianity in general, or for example Catholicism. And as you might imagine I tend to favour the pagans, although I would make an exception for the Roman Emperors.

    I think it is misguided and wrong for you on the basis of at best a superficial understanding to disparage Islam and its sacred texts, which is offensive and ignores the significant cultural and individual accomplishments of Islam

    Offense here means that we all grow up in cultural context that gives us meaning and direction. It defines who we are. It depends on the person to some extent, but it is not a trivial matter.

    The case of Mein Kampf is significantly different,and in Germany, if it is banned there, it is still necessary to read for an understanding of the rise of Fascism. I think the better response, although hard for some of us, is the recourse to reason and argument, which might be then tested.

    Maybe Frisky is right and I am wrong.

  7. March 16th, 2013 at 04:44 | #7

    In summary
    Fran: Communism’s good so if it’s not good it’s not communism,
    Mel: Communism’s bad but Democratic Socialism’s good.
    Chris: I hate you all.
    Jordan: Capitalism’s bad and communism’s good except for Stalin’s bad side, the petrol price going up, and the currency manipulations of the capitalists.
    Behold the revenge of the professors on the world for proving them so terribly wrong.

  8. Jordan
    March 16th, 2013 at 07:12 | #8

    @John Dawson
    So you think that anything described is intended to be bad or good. Isn’t that childish, black and white world, no gray things?
    Why do you think that system that can not handle inflation is good? I did not say it, and i think that good system have to have combination of all options, not to have only one option and go into extreme on it.

    I described all three systems and then described the situation of the country i lived in. By what did you decide that i preffered either one of them?
    Was it your own preferred description of a monetary system that i also prefer it by such condition? Is it your belief that in capitalism banks do not print the money and i wrote differently? Would you like your preferred system not have private banks print money?

  9. Tim Peterson
    March 16th, 2013 at 07:13 | #9

    Jordan :As proven by Steve Keen, capitalism’s succes and crises are driven by debt growth, *private* debt growth assisted by public debt growth. GDP=Investment+Consumption+Trade Ballance where Investment= Savins+Debt growthAs soon as debt growth slows down it causes a recession, whether private or public debt. Money creation through credit creation is an important factor in capital accumulation.Therefore, it is the monetary system that defines capitalism vs. socialism, other things are less realtive.
    Transpacific capitalism, excluding China have monetary system where banks can print money trough credit creation while countries only indirectly trough private banks.
    In Euro-Asian ccommunism, that was in the past, with China still in use, states can print money while private banks can only use savings for giving out the credit.
    .

    Saving equals income minus consumption; so it equals investment plus the trade balance. Credit creation can cause more saving; it is not a source of investment besides saving.

  10. rog
    March 16th, 2013 at 07:15 | #10

    @Mel Do you have any evidence to support your accusations against Lee Rhianon?

    I hope you are not recycling tabloid nonsense.

  11. Ikonoclast
    March 16th, 2013 at 07:17 | #11

    Using Mel’s logic, all words have only one definition, the one he gives them. I wonder if he thinks Liberal = liberal? I wonder if he realises there are many kinds of “liberals” just as there are many kinds of “communists”.

    It must be pleasant to live in such a black and white world of perfectly defined and mutually exlcusive socio-political categories. It replaces real thinking and makes things nice and simple.

    Russia was in fact more like a state capitalist system than anything else. But of course, the Russian state capitalist criminals (Lenin, Stalin etc.) could not admit they were not communists. The ideological smoke screen had to be kept up.

    There are bandits in Nth Africa who call themselves Islamic Jihadists. Just because bandits call themselves Islamic, does that mean all Islamists are bandits? Of course not. But following Mel’s simplistic logic that is the conclusion that would be drawn.

  12. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 08:15 | #12

    @John Dawson

    That rant is best left to your mates at Quadrant.

    Have you figured out climate change yet?

  13. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 08:29 | #13
  14. Mel
    March 16th, 2013 at 13:31 | #14

    rog: “Do you have any evidence to support your accusations against Lee Rhiannon?”

    Google is your friend.

    I guess Lee Rhiannon was No True Scotsman Communist.

  15. John Dawson
    March 16th, 2013 at 13:35 | #15

    I see @Ikonoclast . Russia was never communist as Lenin and Stalin said, because they were closet capitalists (i.e. bad). So where were/are the real communists? Lithuania , Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Cuba, North Korea? Or were all their communists really closet capitalists too?

  16. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 15:40 | #16

    @Tim Peterson

    I think you missed the point. It is not that:

    Credit creation can cause more saving

    which is true, but that:

    in essence, capitalism consists of credit. This then leads to all the problems we are witnessing. Credit does not necessary lead to more net savings as it incurs extra costs as interest and repayments. Under capitalism, credit leads to more credit.

    How can you separate investment via credit, from investment via savings via credit? Which ABS or Reserve bank data demonstrates this?

  17. Jordan
    March 16th, 2013 at 15:50 | #17

    @Tim Peterson
    I think, both of us made a mistake.
    Debth growth is split between investment and consumption, not all go into investment.

    “Credit creation can cause more saving” yes but only measured in next cycle. Credit creation has to replace old credit and add to investment and consumption. So it is the debt growth that matters. Debt growth raises investment and consumption.
    Saving does not equal investment + trade ballance because debt growth changes them. Private debt changes investment and public debt change trade ballance effect.

  18. Mel
    March 16th, 2013 at 15:58 | #18

    John Dawson: “Mel: Communism’s bad but Democratic Socialism’s good.”

    Don’t be dishonest. Democratic socialism is not a term I’ve ever used. I describe myself as a social democrat.

    Social democrats have a great tradition of defending freedom. Remember it was only the 99 Social Democrats in the Reichstag who voted against the Enabling Act that gave rise to the Third Reich. Four hundred and fourty-four conservatives, monarchists, Catholics (the centre party) and economic liberals all voted with the NSDP (1).

    (1) The communists undoubtedly would have voted against the Enabling Act if they were allowed into the Reichstag but only as a tactical measure. We know this because after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact communists from Australia to England were suddenly the Third Reich’s new best friends and opponents of the allied war effort.

    Included is an interesting contemporaneous account from one of the few communists who resigned from the Communist Party of Australia following the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the local CPA’s Lord Haw Haw response to same.

  19. John Dawson
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:16 | #19

    Well @Mel , if you’re for liberty, i.e for a government that doesn’t infringe individual rights but protects our right to life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness, i.e. for a government that does maintain law and order and protect our borders but does very little else, then I’m with you Mel, regardless of what you call yourself.

  20. Jordan
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:20 | #20

    @Chris Warren
    That is the whole point.
    By some rare economists who took to the task of calcualting effect of the credit creation, 97% of all money circulating in the USA economy is created by credit and if debt clearing is to ever happen, which it never could, but if, then 97% of all $US should be returned to its creator by credit. Only 3% of currency, which is what Treasury issued directly would be left in the economy.

    Credit growth has to replace extra cost for interest and grow the economy too. Credit creation have highly redistributive factor. If even partial debt clearing or debt deleverage start, it reduces the GDP growth, through reducing investment and consumption.

    This is the reason that communist system of growth by state issuing new money instead of private bank creation is more stable, but more prone to runaway inflation. In acctual reality, inflation is usually caused by state offering higher prices for goods and services then the market prices in order to get more of them from fully employed and used resources by private sector. It is competition for resources by public sector (which have unlimited currency) for resources in fully employed private sector that cause inflation. Globalization reduces such competition, eliminate it for global currency and other currencies that world like to trade with.

    As inflation is caused by issuing too much money, the best way to reduce inflation is by deissuing money aka taxation higher then spending by state aka public surplus.

  21. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:30 | #21

    rogIt is best to ignore muck from mel and co. You are just building their neurosis.Plenty of people supported more recent capitalist/religious invasions of Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq, Cuba, Grenada, Afghanistan etc and should not be attacked MacCathyist style because of this. Several have changed their positions over time.Plenty of far-right magazines have received funding from the CIA under Codenamed QK OPERA, see:[theworldintelligencereview.com/post/681298268]<

  22. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:44 | #22

    rog

    Further on previous;

    Even Quadrant has been implicated in CIA funding. See:

    [greenleft.org.au/node/18791]

  23. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:46 | #23

    rog

    Further on above:

    And if you want to see real capitalism in action have a look here – capitalist king-pin Kissinger OK’ing slaughter in South America – “The quicker you succeed the better” he urged:

    [www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB104/]

  24. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 16:48 | #24

    rog

    Further on above:

    But this is the basis of capitalism and occasionally a capitalist breaks cover, eg Foreign Affairs editor, Samuel Huntington (who assisted build the repressive regimes in South Africa and Brazil);

    The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do —— The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 51.

  25. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:01 | #25

    rog

    Bit more:

    Just so – capitalism is built on “applying organised violence”, even down to fine details as murdering photographers in protest ships in New Zealand.

    Who are the real capitalists:

    Marcos, Pinochet, Salazar, Videla, Banzer, Duvalier, Suharto, Pahlavi, Park, Zia, Kriangsak, Stroessner, Mendez, Thatcher, Reagan, Botha, or Howard? Or are all these capitalists really closet communists?

  26. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:10 | #26

    Once you review all the evidence it becomes clear that far-Right elements are only getting upset because new facts are emerging, the internet empowers everyone equally, and the grip of capitalism is being shaken by recent economic developments. They are longing for the old ways where you could just massacre the opposition as in Thailand, Chile, Indonesia, or bomb them into submission, Vietnam, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, or assassinate at will – America, British, French, Israeli.

  27. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:13 | #27

    Not for nothing was capital born and bred from terrorism. As Thomas Jefferson bragged:

  28. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:25 | #28

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time

  29. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:30 | #29

    with the blood of patriots and

  30. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:31 | #30

    ty rants”

    Or will our far-rightists claim that Jefferson was no true capitalist ?

  31. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:32 | #31

    Ozblogistan is a joke

  32. Jordan
    March 16th, 2013 at 17:58 | #32

    h t t p : //fora.tv/2013/03/13/How_to_Deal_with_Americas_Private_Sector_Debt_Challenge

    Here is what i am talking about of what makes a system succesfull, What drives the growth and how it turns into depression. It is very clear discription of causes and how to address the correct things that matter, not to be sidelined with what it doesn’t.

    Restructuring of the debt is a synonim for partial forgivness of debt. Banks can do it easily without much damage since payments of debt is destroying money that debt creation created, doing it ahead of the scheduled time trough restructuring of the debt would reduce only the income from interest.
    If restructuring is done so that income from interest is not reduced but principal is reduced more then in normal accounting, there would be no damage to the bank.
    What i mean by that is that all credit servicing are filed under bank income from interest and liability and asset side (created when debt was created) was erased all the way to 0,

    Debt forgivness without bank income forgivness. Principal is forgiven ahead of time but interest payments as bank income continues.

    Sorry for repeating the same things over and over with different wording but i try to reach variety of readers.

    Here is Moses in Deutoronomy 15:
    “15 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed”

    Difference is that in Moses time usual interest were 20%, today are much, much lower so time till the deleverage deppression occur is much longer.
    This is something that was known thousands of years ago and it was forgoten in the labirinth of time (mostly due to Romans banning such debt forgivness)

  33. March 16th, 2013 at 19:28 | #33

    Where was Mel (@ #1) when I showed last April that the number of deaths caused by communists in the 20th and 21st centuries was quite small in comparison to the horrific violence, death and destruction caused by those opposed to communism?

  34. Jordan
    March 16th, 2013 at 19:31 | #34

    First five minutes of the first video by Mihael Kumhof from MMF will burst anyone’s bubble about money, next five minutes are about what i wrote here on debt.

    have courage to look

  35. Chris Warren
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:01 | #35

    @malthusista

    To get mel’s attention you probably have to get published in News Weekly.

  36. Ernestine Gross
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:41 | #36

    Interesting posts. For the first time I read something on the origin of ‘capitalism’: religion.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+15&version=CJB
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2015&version=NKJV

    It, ‘capitalism’, has nothing to do with the theory of market economics, the theory of incomplete markets, and related applied areas in mainstream economics.

    The Deuteronomy 15 clauses in the above referenced sources say more than what was quoted by Jordan. Much more. There is a distinction between ‘brothers’ and ‘foreigners’. There are references to slaves.

    Brothers and sisters, if I may address you in this form at this moment of my personal ‘enlightenment’, those who promote globalisation and capitalism, wittingly or unwittingly, promote conflict and ignore the risk that they, or someone among their future offsprings, may end up as slaves (at least for 6 years!).

    Returning to the non-religious part of economics, debt forgiveness via banking institutions, as suggested by some commenters, isn’t implementable because savings (income from work which is not spent on consumption) and private debt (various forms) generated via banks is mixed up in the accounts and there is nothing in the various versions of ‘the bible’ (I could find) which specifies the disentanglement procedure. But the disentanlement is important for otherwise Deut. 15 isn’t applicable at all (wealth redistribution among non-borrowers is excluded in Deut. 15 but not in the system we have). The recording system of monetary transactions, based as it is on 15th century double entry book-keeping system (balance sheets), and associated monetary aggregates (multipliers) isn’t good enough either. Now this is something one can actually work on. Ha. it feels good to me to be back in the present from this little excursion into the distant past.

  37. John Street
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:50 | #37

    Although attention to the standard of teaching is certainly desirable, surely it is still the case that one must “publish or perish” in the academic world.

    Without tenure, the bottom 5 percenters must spend every waking minute in dread of that tap on the shoulder, and wake screaming from their nightmares of being forced to work as sex workers, toilet cleaners, or worse, as public servants. Envy of the top 5 percenters must gnaw at their vital organs and turn them bitter and twisted.

    The top 5 bestow external benefits on the rest of us mere mortals. By their example and leadership they create an intellectual ferment of ideas that stimulates others to push the frontiers of knowledge and improve the discussion of public policy. We should reward the top 5 with praise and money and research funding else they accept lucrative offers elsewhere. That’s simply supply and demand at work.

    Perhaps export subsidies for the bottom 5 would improve our competitive position and rid us of snarks.

  38. March 16th, 2013 at 20:58 | #38

    @Chris Warren

    I see that Presidents Bush and Obama also failed to draw Mel’s attention when they invaded Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

  39. rog
    March 16th, 2013 at 22:28 | #39

    @Mel Recycling malicious and unfounded gossip does you no favours.

  40. Mel
    March 17th, 2013 at 01:58 | #40

    Rog, the claims are not gossip. Lee Rhiannon initially claimed she had only limited involvement in the Soviet backed publication, Survey, but she was in fact the editor of that publication during its final few years. She wrote numerous Soviet apologias and did indeed write an article that bemoaned the fall of the Berlin Wall. She also published articles that supported the Soviet smashing of the Czech etc uprisings. This isn’t “unfounded gossip”, it is an established fact. How do we know this? We know because, much to Rhiannon’s embarrassment, copies of Survey have found their way into the hot little hands of journalists such as Christian Kerr.

    Other valuable sources of information on Rhiannon come from former comrades, such as Mark Aarons, including his book The Family File and an article in The Monthly.

    Paul Norton, a former CPA member, Larva Prod author and occasional commenter here has attested to Aarons’ integrity.

    The real problem I have with Rhiannon is that she has sought to downplay her misdeeds and make excuses. Until she has the guts to own up for her vile past, I will regard her as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  41. Mel
    March 17th, 2013 at 02:16 | #41

    Malthusista,

    You have written numerous posts praising the brutal murderer, torturer and serial rapist, Muammar Gaddafi.

    I also note with considerable merriment and mirth that your Can Do Better website runs pro-Lyndon LaRouche and anti-fluoride propaganda.

    I’m unable to take you seriously but please hang around because you are way more fun than our resident paranoid android and ageing, beer-soaked communist, Mr Rabbit 😉

  42. rog
    March 17th, 2013 at 04:54 | #42

    Mel, you speak as if you have first hand knowledge, which you obviously do not.

    Lee Rhiannon has responded to these claims, will you accept her word?

    Gerard Henderson misrepresents my political history and commitment to environmental protection.

    Citing Mark Aarons and Paul Howes as authorities on my political background is strange as both have allegiances to the ALP, which is determined to smear the Greens.

    Neither my parents nor I were Stalinists. The crimes committed under Stalin were horrific and I and Greens members certainly condemn them. For the record I joined the 1968 protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

    In trawling over my past Henderson fails to mention that I am a qualified botanist and have campaigned for many years on issues such as native forests, the environmental impacts of coalmining and air pollution. These aspects of my life do not fit with Henderson’s attempt to make out I am not committed to the environment policies of the Greens.

    He says there are leadership “tensions” in the Greens. I have the greatest respect for Bob Brown and have already publicly ruled out challenging him for the leadership.

  43. Chris Warren
    March 17th, 2013 at 07:02 | #43

    Mel’s McCarthyist lie:

    Lee Rhiannon, who:

    – denounced the people of Czechoslovakia for the ’68 uprising

    The truth, from Lee Rhiannon:

    For the record I joined the 1968 protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

    So will our Mel stop spreading lies for political purposes, and apologise?

  44. Tim Peterson
    March 17th, 2013 at 07:30 | #44

    @Jordan

    You are right that consumer credit can reduce saving.

    Note that when credit is used to increase invesment, it causes corresponding changes in saving and the trade balance. Credit is not something besides saving that causes invesment, it is one of the ways in which saving is chanelled into invesment and conversely allows investment to generate savings.

    This comes from the definition S=Y-C. If I goes up due to credit creation, Y=C+I+NX goes up and so does S.

  45. Paul Norton
    March 17th, 2013 at 08:56 | #45

    Lee Rhiannon has written at length about the matters raised in this thread. I think there are some important conclusions that can validly be inferred, without malice aforethought, from this article.

    Mel @39 is right about my own background and also that I will attest to Mark Aarons’ integrity. This includes the fact that I do not believe Mark Aarons had any kind of personally malicious or politically tendentious motive for writing his recollections of Lee Rhiannon (Brown) in The Family File.

  46. Ikonoclast
    March 17th, 2013 at 09:36 | #46

    Mel and Howes and also perhaps Aarons and Henderson are acting like a pack of McCarthyists. They disgust me.

  47. Ikonoclast
    March 17th, 2013 at 09:44 | #47

    It’s pretty clear that Mel makes up slanders recklessly. He made up one about me in a previous thread, saying that I was a climate denier troll seeking to ridicule AGW by making excessive claims about climate change. Then he proceeded to abuse me after I made a self defence. Now he has slandered Lee Rhiannon. I don’t why JQ tolerates these abusive right wingers and McCarthyists (not TerjeP as he is not those things) but bans harmless but maybe dotty over-posters like Alice used to be.

  48. John Quiggin
    March 17th, 2013 at 09:47 | #48

    I’m calling a halt to this discussion. Those who want to fight out can do so on some other blog, or Twitter.

  49. Fran Barlow
    March 17th, 2013 at 09:48 | #49

    @Paul Norton

    And speaking of someone who has interacted with Lee Rhiannon over about two decades, for most of it as someone politically unsympathetic to the Greens, Lee Rhiannon seems very far from the caricature painted of her by the right.

    IMO there are excellent grounds for accepting that Lee Rhiannon is privately what she seems to be in public — an honest left-liberal with an insistent interest in social inclusion, equity and the integrity of the natural environment.

    She is ever solicitous of the wellbeing of those about her, warm and direct and was to the best of my capacity to infer, entirely genuine when she said she had no desire to seek the leadership at Bob Borwn’s expense. Like all of us today, she bore him enormous respect.

  50. paul of albury
    March 17th, 2013 at 09:53 | #50

    Survey brings back memories. Some kind soul subscribed us to it. A monthly delivery of humour in how far you could stretch a story to meet the axioms of your personal dogma. And the frisson that this ridiculous little magazine was an arm of the evil empire. I think in today’s media it would seem terribly naive but the basing the story on what it’s meant to prove rather than what happened is now mainstream.

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